A Particularly Obstinate Recap!

The Samuel Peaches Peripatetic Players are happy to report that they all managed to complete 16 obstacles in the Third Annual Particularly Obstinate Obstacle Course (POOC)!

Held Saturday, May 19th in the year 2018, the POOC was a rousing success!

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The Skeleton Pirate was decimated by Pirate Gwen, Pirate Stephanie, Pirate Thumper, and Pirate Guy!

This year’s Obstacles were presented on a map, illustrated by our very own Sam Bertken:

A Very Obstinate Treasure Map!

Our very own treasure map!

Our Obstacles were:

1. The Pledge of Arrlegiance! 9. The Kraken!
2. Pirate Gwen’s Pirate Closet 10. Tug of (Man O’) War
3. Catwalk the Plank 11. Cannonball Toss
4. Crows Nest Climb Time 12. Rogue Wave Rider
5. Catapult Cannon Toss 13. Shiver Me Timbers
6. Skeleton Pirate 14. Skarkline (a perennial favorite)
7. Samuel Peaches’ Siren Song 15. Sea Shanty
8. Pirate Puns 16. Time Fer Treasure!

Thank you so much to all of our friends who joined us in Mosswood Park — it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun without you!

There is still time to donate, if you’d like to help us bring FREE theatre to Bay Area parks and public spaces; donations made now through July 15th will be DOUBLED through our Matching Grant from the Easy Bay Fund For Artists.

Donate HERE!

The Peripatetic Pirates

Photo by Tim Guydish!

Influences & Inspirations Part Deux

Shakespeare or Space Wars opens in less than a week! As the Players put the finishing touches on props, costumes and scenery… and even our script… we want to share an inspiration that has had a big influence on those essential elements of the play: Little Monster’s Mother Goose by Mercer Mayer. It’s a children’s book that features monster-creatures putting on a play — not unlike the Players!

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Little Monster’s Mother Goose was published in 1979, meaning it was just in time for Madame D’s childhood bedtime reading list. And it must have had an impact… Little Monster must be convinced to put on a play, and how the play happens — including what happens in the audience — is more interesting than the nursery rhymes themselves.

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In fact, it’s almost impossible to read this book in any sort of linear or methodical fashion — visual and word puns are scattered about, and the pleasure in reading it is seeking them out and finding something you hadn’t seen before.

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What’s more, none of the characters can let an opportunity for a comment, question, or delicious opportunity to lap up spilled milk pass them by.

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The audience is having a great time, too — even if they’re not behaving “properly.” 🙂

We hope you’ll be part of our audience for Shakespeare or Space Wars September 10-24!

 

Influences & Inspirations!

We of the Peripatetic Players are influenced by a great many groundbreaking works of art and legendary theatrical ensembles, which inform both our process and our craft. One of the most seminal of these is surely The Muppets — and for Shakespeare and Space Wars, no Muppet episode is more resonant with our own creation than “Pigs in Space with Luke Skywalker”

I particularly love Piggy’s classic handling of the inappropriate comments about her weight — it’s clear she’s had to develop an iron-fist style of management to keep the show on track. Perhaps Mr. Peaches could learn a few things.

But that’s not all… the stars of Star Wars appear in the entire Muppet Show episode, number 17 from Season 4 of the show, and perform a spectacular dance number at the end.

And, many years and one corporate purchase later, Muppets cast as Star Wars characters to create mashed-up action figures have striking similarities to the casting of Peripatetic Players as both Muppets and Star Wars personalities. Gonzo as Darth Vader? Beaker as C3PO? Obviously.  And make special note of the Storm Troopers…

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Disney’s Muppet Star Wars action figures

We have our own ideas as to which Peripatetic Players correspond to various Muppets… some of them are definitely reflected above.

Which Muppets do you think most accurately reflect Peripatetic Players?

Thumper has been lobbying the Players to determine how they’d cast themselves in Thumper’s adaptation of Star Wars, named Space Wars. You’ll have to see the show to find out who’s who!

Shakespeare or Space Wars opens Sept 10, 2pm at the Berkeley Marina! 

SPPP SorSW Photo Shoot!

Here’s a behind-the-scenes peek at today’s Peripatetic photo shoot!

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Guy and Thumper setting up the scrolling backdrop

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Musical interlude

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Guy is solving a problem

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Meekins at work on a likeness of his idol and mentor, Samuel Peaches

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Princess Gwen!

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The dashing Mr Peaches

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Mr Meekins

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Ready to tackle SHAKESPEARE!!

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Shakespeare vs. Space Wars photobomb

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Space Wars vs. Shakespeare photobomb

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Costume pieces

Hark! SPPP and FluxWagon ride again!

Friends, it is that time of year when the Peripatetic Players dust off their ragamuffins and saddle up their slipperywidgets…

IT’S TIME TO PUT ON A SHOW!

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This summer, the Players put their inimitable spin on two star-crossed tales of daring and destiny. Although Thumper and Samuel are still in heated negotiations over what constitutes canonical entertainment, be assured that SOMETHING will happen… but even we are not entirely sure how it will all turn out.

Will Samuel achieve his dream of becoming a renowned and respected tragedian?

Will Guy Hank be able to power this hunk of junk to hyperspace? 

Will Princess Gwen be able to climb down from that balcony?

Will Meekins stare down the hilt of a rapier with both eyes open and a minimum of whimpering?

What is Thumper doing with that bucket?

We will endeavor to answer these enduring questions and more… BUT THAT’S NOT ALL…

For the first time ever, the Players invite YOU — yes, you! The one in front of the screen! — to partake in a Particularly Obstinate Obstacle CourseRun, hop, skip, jump, saunter, sashay, stroll or simply stumble your way through 20 outrageous obstacles delightfully designed to test your physical, mental and theatrical vim and vigor. This Thon to out-thon all Thons is like no Thon you’ve ever Thonned. Thonestly. Don your most eccentric costumes, pull out all your stops, and join us as we face our least known fears over and through obstacles both literal and metaphorical!

You can sign up to pledge a player or play the course here!

If you’d rather spectate, cheer on, and/or picnic — be sure to come out to Lake Merritt on July 24 for an afternoon of comradely challenge and comic competition. No reservations required!

On Adaptations of Children’s Literature…

An interview with Rebecca & Joan

Rebecca and Joan — who when not embodying Mdme. Directrix and Thumper, respectively, are the SPPP’s producing organization, Idiot String — sat down after one of the final Aesop Amuck rehearsals with none other than Sam Bertken (a.k.a. Meekins) to talk about their inspirations for both Aesop Amuck and the Peripatetic Players’ debut adventure, O Best Beloved.*  Sam writes for S.F. Theater Pub,** a great blog about theatre and the independent theatre scene in the Bay Area that is run by producer, playwright & director Stuart Bousel.

We talked about influences like Mercer Mayer & Maurice Sendak, the Muppets, and Medieval & Renaissance theatre, as well as why performing on FluxWagon and breaking the fourth wall are so important to us. Read the interview here!

*Please note there are a couple words bleeped out with asterisks in this article that, if unbleeped, would be inappropriate for young audiences!

**Please also note that the content of S.F. Theatre Pub in general is aimed at adult audiences, and some topics elsewhere on the site may  not be appropriate for kiddos.

Guess what else?

We have three more shows — including today’s 5pm performance in Pleasanton

There’s still time to donate to our Kickstarter Campaign — until late Monday night!

Thank You, Kickstarters!

Thank you to everyone who has donated to Flux Fest ’15 and to our Kickstarter campaign!

We’re now just over halfway to our Kickstarter goal of $2500, with 10 days to go. If you’ve been meaning to throw in your support, now’s the time! Click here to go to Kickstarter — if only to watch the video. If you’ve already given, THANK YOU! Here’s a list of our wonderful supporters!

Because of your generous support, we’ve been able to add some bells and whistles to FluxWagon, like her new trapdoor and Aesop-appropriate paint job.

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Joan, designer of the FluxWagon, in her new trap door.

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FluxWagon at our opening performance at DeFremery Park, Oakland

New this week: animal portraits by the excellent Megan Hillard! (Stay tuned for photos of those after this weekend’s shows in Hayward and San Francisco.)

Your support is also invaluable to less photogenic but essential endeavors, like making insurance payments, buying gas, and renting trucks to tow Fluxie.

You also help ensure the Peripatetic Players can get paid! They’re super photogenic, actually.

The Peripatetic Players in action. Photo by Tim Guydish.

The Peripatetic Players in action: photo by Tim Guydish. Click through for a whole wonderful set of photos!

Character Profile: Lion

He’s a noble beast, but he’s got a lot to learn…

The Lion & The Mouse -- illustration by Sam Bertken

The Lion & The Mouse — illustration by Sam Bertken

When we first meet the Lion, we know he’s impressive as the King of the Forest… but even he can learn from his mistakes. To play the lion. an actor must have a strong presence and and even stronger ROAR… He’ll be hunting, but he might also become the hunted!

There are plenty of stories about animals trying to imitate the lordly lion, but we’ve selected just a couple stories in which the lion gets to show the more complicated sides of his character. Any actor would be eager to sink teeth into this meaty role… making it the perfect fit for our own leader and impressario, Samuel Peaches.

See for yourself this weekend, when Aesop Amuck opens at DeFremery Park in Oakland on Saturday and the Noe Valley Town Square on Sunday. And help support the whole tour on Kickstarter!

Link to our project on kickstarter

Help take Aesop Amuck around the Bay Area this summer!

It’s Guy, Guy Hank — our NEWEST Peripatetic Player!

Photo by Rebecca Longworth.

Why hello there faithful followers! Here is our latest installment in our “behind-the-scenes/meet our players” special: Guy Hank

Guy Hank himself:

Joining the Samuel Peaches Peripatetic Players has really changed my life . . . who knew? Certainly, not me. Whew! It gets me excited just thinking about it. Let me just get right down to it. My whole life I had dreamed of performing one day on the stage. When I was younger, I saw a show that had been put up in our small town of Georgia, California. I. Was. In. Awe. Just dazzled by the magic of the story. I believe it was a production of “The Princess and the Pea” and what was just a story I glanced over in my children’s books became alive before me on the stage! I was pulled into the story. I was “bit”, as they say, by the “theatre bug.”

I just never got the chance to aspire to these dreams of mine. My Dad insisted I learn the auto mechanics trade and help build his business. I thought perhaps my dream was ridiculous and worked with him in his shop. I did, however, secretly work on my acting craft in my room reading wonderful plays and stories from around the world. I learned their lingo too – words like “blocking” and “props” and “inner monologue”. Another good thing was that since Georgia, California sees a great many travelers and tourists on their way to the beautiful sites of this Golden State, I was able to meet so many great people and hear their stories. I found that they trusted me to help get their autos to the next destination and it filled me with joy seeing them wave as they happily left our service station. Moments after they left though, I would get that sad though wishing I could travel with them.

At last, the day came when the Peripatetic Players pulled into our station on their way to their next show! They needed some minor service repairs and I jumped at the chance to work on the “Flux Wagon” and was in awe that it could transform into a magical stage to share stories from. In a casual conversation to Thumper about the troupes “props”, I relayed to her my dreams and get this – she told her brother, Samuel Peaches, about my dream, my secret studies, and petitioned on my behalf to help join the troupe! Seeing that I may come in handy working on the Flux Wagon, he invited me along!

My favorite story I’ve performed with the troupe to date has to be “Wind & the Sun”! Thumper and I get to compete with Samuel and Meekins (as the Wind) to see who can get a young chap (Princes Gwen) to take of her coat. There is movement and sound and it really takes off. However, I am dying to play the lion in the upcoming Aesop stories (Fables, I meant “fables”). I’ve been working on my roar, the Flux Wagon is running in top notch shape, and I am ready to take my acting to next level.

My favorite person to play with is everyone in the Samuel Peaches Peripatetic Player troupe! You put me with any one of those guys and I instantly come alive. Their creativity is mind boggling – it instantly gets my own creative juices flowing. Although, I have to say, Thumper and I have really good chemistry. She just gets it, you know? She has an uncanny ability to tap into whatever is happening right at that exact moment.

I would like to see the Flux Wagon pull into Georgia, California again someday so we could perform for the town. Perhaps, I could invite my Dad out so he could see what an amazing life this is! So he would know that my dreams were not ridiculous – that following your heart is the only way to go especially when you don’t know what is gonna happen. Perhaps he would be inspired by one of our stories or the morals they contain.

I knew I made it with the troupe – meaning I was “in” when after weeks of rehearsal and months of only being allowed to work on the Flux Wagon, Samuel Peaches asked me to lead a story. It has only gotten better since! I can’t wait for this show to tour near YOU, our wonderful audience! May you be dazzled and delighted and maybe even inspired!

Your Guy,

Guy Hank

Hola! Ahoj! Bonjour! from Princess Gwen!

Halo everyone! Here is our fourth installment of our “behind-the-scenes/meet our players” series: Princess Gwen!

My journey with the Samuel Peaches Peripatetic Players began on a clear, blue morning a few summers ago. As I was walking through the forest with my best friend Jay Robinson, I heard wonderful music coming through the trees! I followed this beautiful melody and I stumbled upon the Flux Wagon! Boy, was Fluxxie a wonderful sight after my trek through the forest!

Once Samuel accepted me into the Players (maybe it had something to do with the fact that I a) can skin a wild boar in under seven seconds, b) had a bag of gold, or c) I can talk to birds), my first real break (or trial by fire) came as playing Elly the Elephant in How the Elephant Got Her Trunk. As Elly, I got to wear a tutu, travel through the Limpopo River, and head off the Precession of the Equinoxes!

One of the great things about playing Elly was that Meekins played half of the silly animal duos in that story. It is always so electrifying to see what Meekins is going to come up with! Sometimes he retreats back into his memories and gets a little too intense for the kiddos, and when that happens I just let him talk to Jay Robinson and he calms back down.

I think going to the beach would calm everyone down. Don’t you think that taking Flux Wagon to the French Riviera would be amazing? Imagine Fluxxie covered in lavender and cheese! Too bad I can’t eat cheese…

Anyway, thank you all for coming on the lovely adventure with Jay Robinson and myself! I can’t wait for you all to join us one sunny weekend!

Photo by Serena Morelli.

Princess Gwen as Elly in How the Elephant Got Her Trunk in last year’s O Best Beloved.